Kill ’em all and let the Free Market sort ’em out
There’s plenty of companies out there that fail to look out for our best interests. We’ve always had the feeling when it comes to these mega-corporations that they’re out to get us (we’re looking at you, Walmart). Whether it’s the bad customer service, long ridiculous lines, or even the occasional conspiracy or two, the one feeling that’s hard to shake is that these companies are in fact evil to the core. What if we were right? What if these companies are actually out to change all life as we know it? Well, it turns out we were right, they just happen to exist in some of our favorite video game titles and they most definitely excel at their job.
These are some companies we are glad don’t exist. Because if they did, we’d be utterly screwed. We’ve rounded up some of the worst out there and here are our top 10 evil companies in video games that seriously need a visit from the Better Business Bureau and should be facing some OSHA violations.
10) Aesir Corporation (Max Payne)
Kicking off our list is one seriously hair gel-driven mega pharmaceutical company who has no issues silencing anyone who’d get in their way. At first glance, Aesir Corporation seems harmless, but that would be a far stretch from the truth. These guys are nothing more than street thugs in nice suits and can’t seem to relax with the absurd amounts of styling product. After discovering their shady dealings in illegal drug trafficking, the corporation took it upon themselves to silence our hero Max Payne’s wife and child. Taking it a step further, they even framed Max for the death of his partner. It’s no wonder he went through hell and back to put these guys down for good.
9) Union Aerospace Corporation (Doom series)
Opening the gates of hell can turn out pretty bad for you — especially if you work for the UAC. Being one of the earliest evil companies in video games, Union Aerospace Corporation had a pretty good headstart on our other entries. While conducting research on convenient travel methods, the company stumbled on something they should’ve left alone: a portal to Hell. And yes, we mean the literal fire, brimstone, demon-housing, devil-owned, dimension of evil and torture, and boy did it not turn out well for them. Even in the re-imagining of the game, it was made pretty clear the company was fully aware of the dangers their experiments posed and they just didn’t care. Too bad they didn’t listen as their personnel all began to change into freaking demon hordes. There goes your sick time. The creatures then begin systematically wiping out anyone who tries to leave or reach out for help. Finally, after everything goes to hell in the most literal sense possible, the company finally decides to send the cleanup crew. It’s also abundantly clear that preserving their technology and erasing all evidence is more important to the company than the livelihood of its employees.
Doom was also one of the first games where you as the protagonist actually worked for the evil company in question, but when demons and hell-beasts threaten the world, I bet checking off “get myself a new job” on your list of things to do is the least of your worries.
8) Ultor (Red Faction and Saints Row series)
Ultor is pretty much solid proof that evil is a great business practice and a key to successful endeavors, but they’re also a prime example as to why you shouldn’t piss off your employees. The Stillwater-based company thrived as the main antagonist in Red Faction and Saint’s Row and showed a lot of evil corporations how it is really done. In the Saint’s Row series’ Ultor Corporation’s plan was to turn the city’s criminal base into their personal lackeys hidden behind the visage of cleaning up the streets all the while crushing any opposition. That’s until they managed to make enemies of a certain purple-clad gang who didn’t take kindly to the company’s interference. They managed to survive the encounter by selling t-shirts and other nick-knacks all the while plotting their next exploits and managed to make it all the way to space.
Enter the Red Faction series, where Ultor managed to get involved with space mining. Now isn’t that one heck of a transformation? The mining colony was just a front which allowed them to run genetic tests on the miners. Obviously, these guys didn’t learn the first time around as they were eventually defeated by the same miners they managed to make very, very angry.
7) Armacham Technology Corporations (F.E.A.R.)
Our next entry is one for the books. While their idea wasn’t too bad, the method behind it wasn’t very bright at all. ATC, or Armacham Technology Corporations, had the genius idea of creating mindless, military meat puppets under the control of one psychic commander. Of course, this goes very wrong for them. Paxton Fettel, one of the game’s antagonists, had a very different idea when given command of the units. He eventually turned them against the company after a second psychic synchronization with Alma Wade, another antagonist of the series. ATC was not against using children in their experiments, proven by not only their relentless test on Alma in the past but also forcefully putting her in a chemically induced coma just to save their own skins. Talk about evil!
6) Fontaine Futuristics (Bioshock)
We’ve all called our bosses crooks, criminals, or something along those lines. For Fontaine Futuristics, that’s actually entirely true. Founded by a conman, criminal mastermind Frank Fountaine, the company took off when Fontaine found out that the sea-slug goo known as “Adam” could give people superpowers, talk about a dream come true, right? The company not only broke child labor laws by using cute little girls known as little sisters to harvest their product but also exploited the criminals of Rapture by turning them into big daddies, the genetically-modified, organ-and-skin-grafted protectors of the little sisters. If that isn’t enough to convince you, the company is also pretty much responsible for causing civil unrest which leads to the Rapture Civil War.
5) Mishima Zaibatsu (Tekken series)
Headed by longtime series antagonist Heihachi Mishima, the Mishima Zaibatsu pretty much has their hands in everything from finance to military contracting. Of course, being a family run company, there may be a little infighting. In this case, however, it’s an all-out martial arts war. I mean, when you toss your son in a volcano and try to murder your grandson, you are prone to get more than a nasty email or two. Good thing the company holds a tournament to see who can possibly win and run the conglomerate. Lucky for them, they’ve never had to deal with the issue of having a non-relative winning the tournament. Let’s not forget the time they started a world war just to entice a god in order to defeat him, or that there may be a literal devil or two running the company from time to time. Talk about dysfunctional.
4) Vault-Tec (Fallout series)
You’d think with a name like Vault-Tec this next entry would make you feel pretty safe. Well, you guessed wrong. This post-apocalyptic corporation literally could care less about your existence, let alone your well-being. Funny thing is this corporation and all their employees were pretty much vaporized before the start of the game. What they left behind, on the other hand, isn’t the protection you had in mind. The vaults were built with the promise of keeping you and your loved ones safe in the case of catastrophic events such as a nuclear holocaust, sadly this was not the case. Fallout series resident super company left a long lasting impression on its vault’s residency. After the events of the Great War left a fraction of the population living alive, the projects began. Out of the 122 vaults created only 17 actually worked! The other 105 were put through various scenarios. Some vaults opened prematurely, others weren’t given enough food synthesizers, human cloning, the list goes on.
3) Abstergo Industries (Assassin’s Creed series)
When a company’s entire reason for existing it to usher in a new world order, you may want to consider not taking the job, or even applying for that matter. Abstergo Industries, the shady front for the Templar order in the Assassin’s Creed games, boasts some incredible memory-extracting technology, which is able to allow a subject to re-live their ancestral pasts. They’ve also gotten their hands on some ancient artifacts that have allowed them to manipulate human technological development, moving them closer and closer to their goal of a totalitarian regime. The company may have wanted peace, but it was peace under their rule and under the strictest of terms. Too bad they weren’t prepared for the guy with a big knife, excellent climbing skills, and trained killers for ancestors. Good job, Abstergo. Good job.
2) Umbrella Corporation (Resident Evil series)
Shady dealings: check. Terrible benefits: check. The occasional zombie outbreak because we couldn’t care less about your lives: double check. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Umbrella Corporation (no, not that shady skin care company in Ho Chi Minh City you may have read about), possibly the worst place you could ever work. I mean what is wrong with these pharmaceutical companies? They tend to be some of the worst out there. The Umbrella Corp. should come as no surprise from their antics in the Spencer Mansion of Resident Evil to their disastrous affairs in Raccoon City.
This accident-prone company and its red and white symbol have pretty much become synonymous with evil and downright terrible companies in gaming. They’re responsible for more zombie outbreaks than George A. Romero himself. They weren’t above using the devastation of Raccoon city as a silver lining to show the potential of the T-virus. How these guys were able to slip by the FDA so many times is beyond me, but the various viruses produced by this company have made for some pretty gnarly mutations throughout the series. Giant snakes, mutant zombie dogs, guys with a giant eyeball on their shoulder — it gets pretty intense in the office for the Umbrella employees. I wonder, do they have great life insurance packages?
1) Shin-Ra Electric Power Company (Final Fantasy VII)
When you’re pretty much responsible for the near-death of the planet just for profit, you may just solidify yourself as the evilest company on this list. Shin-Ra was Midgar’s mega-corporation who pretty much owned everything and did everything. It’s like if General Electric and Exxon had a baby. Only not a happy bundle of joy. Rather, a tantrum-prone baby that breaks everything it touches and sucks the life force from the teat of the planet. They have their own army, warships, and super-soldiers on top of being the sole proprietors of power in the world. Nearly draining the planet of its essence wasn’t enough to stop these guys from trying to make money. Neither was a silver-haired swordsman hell-bent on destroying the world and riding it as his vessel through the cosmos. But hey, who cares? These suit-wearing, horse-laughing, planet-plundering evildoers weren’t above kidnapping women or near-extinct species for their own ends, either. Please. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they sold out their own families to get ahead. You also might want to make sure you pay the bills on time, as the company wasn’t above dropping an entire city sector on the citizenry’s hapless heads just to prove a point.
A long-term ecological plan wasn’t a part of the family-run business’s agenda, and neither were the consequences. If you thought our electric companies were scary, they’ve got nothing on Shin-Ra’s schemes.
So, what did you guys think of our list? Did the companies you expect make the cut? If we missed a group that you feel deserved a spot on our list of evil corporations, let us know. Sound off in the comments section below.